Child seats and restraints

Road crashes are one of the biggest causes of "accidental" death in children. Properly fitted child seats and restraints are essential to protect children in the event of a crash. Use this page to access research on the use and misuse of child restraints worldwide.

Mortality due to non-existence of child restraint system in India
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Delhi, India, 5/10/15

Laws on child restraints in vehicles in the developing world are necessary to reduce child fatalities in road crashes.

The medico-legal aspects of road traffic deaths in children under 5 years of age
University Hospital of Padova, Italy, 1/10/15

The medical and legal consequences of the deaths of two children under five, including the issues surrounding child restraints, are discussed.

Opportunities, threats and barriers to enacting mandatory child car restraint laws in Iran
University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, 8/08/14

Collaborations between the police, local communities, and drivers are necessary to encourage child car seat use in Iran.

60 per cent of all child seats not fitted safely
Good Egg Safety, 13/04/14

60% of child seats in Britain are poorly fitted, according to checks of more than 10,000 child seats carried out by Good Egg Safety.

38% of child passengers on high-speed roads in Norway are incorrectly restrained
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, 28/10/13

38% of child passengers on high-speed roads in Norway are incorrectly restrained, with critical errors most common in children aged 0-3 years.

National roadside survey of child restraint system use in Belgium
Belgian Road Safety Institute, 04/09/13

Child restraints in Belgium are more likely to be used correctly if purchased in a specialist shop rather than a supermarket.

WHO Global status report on road safety 2013
World Health Organisation, 15/03/13

Only 28 countries, covering 7% of the world’s population, have comprehensive road safety laws on drink-driving, speeding, and helmet, seat belt and child restraint use.

Low-income, multiple-child or non-English speaking families less likely to use car seats
George Institute for Global Health, 31/01/13

Drivers in Sydney, Australia are less likely to use appropriate child restraints where they have low income, three or more children, or do not speak English.

Counterfeit car seats sold through online auction sites putting children at risk
TRL and Good Egg Safety, 30/11/12

Large numbers of counterfeit car seats are being sold to parents in the UK through online auction sites, putting children at risk in the event of a crash.

Child car seat rules mostly ignored, study finds
American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 24/08/12

Most American children are incorrectly restrained in cars.

Parents and carers putting childrens’ lives in danger
BubbleBum, 04/05/12

74% of UK parents allow their children to travel illegally without boosters seats.

Children Injured in Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes
U.S. Department of Transportation, 30/07/10

Unrestrained children are eight times more likely to sustain incapacitating injuries than those restrained in child safety seats.

New child restraint laws
Roads and Traffic Authority - NSW Government, 16/07/10

Children aged four to seven are banned from travelling in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows.

Restraint use and seating position among children less than 13 years of age
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 07/04/10

Among children less than 13 years, US parents reported an estimated 618,337 who rode unrestrained and more than one million who rode in the front seat of a vehicle.

Child seat rating scheme
The Child Safety Centre at the UK’s TRL (Transport Research Laboratory), 03/08/09

A UK-based safety rating system for child seats in vehicles. Stars awarded - one to five - depending on overall rating, and front and side impact.

Seat belt misuse among children transported in belt-positioning booster seats
Indiana University School of Medicine’s Riley Hospital for Children, USA, 11/05/09

Drivers transporting children in booster seats are not using them properly. Misuses include: placing the shoulder seat belt over the booster seat armrest, behind the child’s back or under their arm.

Benevolence and the value of road safety
Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, 09/03/09

Supports the premis that people care about others’ road safety. Useful if planning campaigns aimed at parents in charge of belting up children responsibly and other family-oriented campaigns.

Seat-belts and child restraints: road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners
World Health Organisation, 01/01/09

It draws on experience from countries that have succeeded in achieving and sustaining high levels of restraint use. It includes recommendations for developing and implementing technical standards.

Population-level estimates of child restraint practices among children aged 0–12 in NSW
University of New South Wales, 16/08/08

More than 99% of children are using child restraints but less than a quarter are using the correct size.

School bus seat belt improvements report (URL pending)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 30/11/07

There should be a raft of measures on US school buses to improve child safety, including higher seat backs (24 inches up from 20 inches) which aim to prevent passengers being thrown over them.

Rear seat safer: seating position, restraint use and injuries in children in crashes
Queensland University of Technology, 17/10/07

Children under 4 years traveling in the front seat, the relative risk of death was twice as great as when traveling in the rear and that of serious injury was 60% greater.

Passenger seating position and the risk of passenger death or injury in traffic crashes
Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, 16/03/03

It estimates that the rear seat passenger position may reduce the risk of death in a motor vehicle crash by about 39% and reduce the risk of death or serious injury in a crash by 33%.


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